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by Catherine Dunwoody Friday March 22nd kicks off this annual Francophone festival and you don’t want to miss out. Musical artists, family cultural activities and of course fabulous food bring the big heated tents at Mackin Park in Maillardville, Coquitlam to life. Festival du Bois is the largest festival of its kind in BC, bringing a little bit of Québécois culture to the west coast. Friday’s kick off includes the Friday Night Contra Dance in the Grand Chapiteau (big tent), featuring live music from The Sybaritic String Band, Vancouver’s premier contradance band. What’s that exactly? Contra dancing is social dancing done in lines of couples to live traditional music. There’s a dance caller who teaches easy “figures” on the spot, like in square dancing, and prompts you during the dance. Fun! But since we are all about the food here at WestCoastFood, we are super stoked about the booth at…

By Alexis Baran The Dine Out Vancouver Festival graces plates from January 18th – February 3rd and along with three-course meals, culinary tours, classes and tastings all over the city, guest chefs from all over the world will be cooking up inspired collaborations. Each chef from abroad will be in the kitchen with a Vancouverite, and the pairs will work together creating something that shakes up the tastebuds. Look who’s teaming up: London, Great Britain Who: Chef Warren Geraghty and Vancouver’s Chef Felix Zhou Where: Heritage Asian Eatery When: January 22, 2019 Details: The two accomplished culinary stars first met working on the line at Vancouver’s acclaimed West Restaurant and later teamed up across the pond at Michelin-starred restaurant Galvin La Chapelle in London. During this one-night-only event, Zhou and Geraghty will work in tandem to prepare an internationally inspired multi-course tasting menu that showcases their respective global experiences. Sydney, Australia…

By VisitRichmondBC.com Around this time every year, Richmond grocery stores and bakeries are filled with towers of small, round cakes in fancy boxes and festive packaging. This is because we’re approaching the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important annual festivals in Chinese culture, right after Chinese New Year. Celebrated among people from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, the Mid-Autumn Festival is typically celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month every year. This year, it lands on September 24. What is the Mid-Autumn Festival? The Mid-Autumn Festival is always celebrated on a day that coincides with a full moon. Ancient Chinese emperors worshipped the sun in the spring and moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the next year. The practice entailed placing a large table in the middle of the yard under…

By Tourism Richmond End August with a joyous and delicious bang during the fourth annual Richmond World Festival. Last year’s two-day festival attracted over 40,000 people (per day!), and this year promises to be bigger and better. The highly-anticipated event takes place August 31 (4pm to 10pm) and September 1, 2018 (11am to 10pm), at Minoru Park in Richmond, and offers an abundance of top-notch entertainment, family-friendly activities, and exciting international eating opportunities. The two-day festival, headlined by Canadian music stars Lights and Magic!, celebrates the diversity of Richmond through globally-themed programming, pavilions, and displays. Attendees can look forward to an artisan market selling unique cultural crafts, as well as a Global Village area with an Indigenous dance workshop, a roster of other cultural performances, and fun “how to” craft workshops (e.g. Japanese bookbinding). Meanwhile, the Bamboo Theatre will wow audiences with Chinese opera displays and demos, while the Africa…

By Brittany Tiplady For the love of garlic! We’re so fortunate to live in a province that is abundant with beautiful fresh produce year round. Gear up for garlic month happening in August with this list of Metro Vancouver restaurants that have added some garlicky features to their menu, as well as a list of Farmer’s Markets so you can support local and grab your garlic to-go. Richmond Garlic Festival You won’t want to miss the 10th annual Richmond Garlic Festival happening August 19. Chefs from various restaurants in Richmond and Vancouver will be volunteering to present festival-goers with a grand selection of garlic-based eats including garlic ice cream. Of course the festival’s supporter, The Sharing Farm, will be selling their famous own-grown garlic as well. Dates: Sunday, August 19 Time: 10 am- 3 pm; visit their website for more details! Location: 2771 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC Kulinarya Filipino Eatery…

By Kristi Alexandra It’s no wonder that New Westminster’s downtown hub is warming up to its nickname “Delicious Downtown.” It’s home not only to a handful of hip eateries, but to Canada’s largest-ever food truck festival. The Royal City’s residents and their neighbours are about to get all trucked up as the annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival celebrates its sixth year on July 28, 2018. With more than 150 vendors on the docket for the mouth-watering milestone, there will be no shortage of options to treat the taste buds. From newly-scouted trucks such as the Frying Pan (crispy fried chicken) and Taco’N Todo (authentic Mexican fare) to returning favourites like Vij’s Railway Express and Gypsy Trunk Vegan Food Cart, there’s a nosh or nibble for everyone. REEL Mac & Cheese, Japadog, Crab Park Chowdery, and Feastro the Rolling Bistro also feature on the lineup — but food isn’t the…

By Ariane Fleischmann On July 31, 2018, you’ll have a chance to experience an authentic spread of Syrian cuisine and be entertained by bellydancers and drag performers – all while supporting a charity that ensures safe passage of queer refugees into Canada. When Danny Ramadan first came to Canada as a Syrian refugee in 2014, he initially felt alone and out of sorts. He’s proud of his Syrian heritage and, although he was forced to leave his home, slowly but surely, Ramadan says he fell in love with his new Canadian community. “Syria has a very rich and long history that has so many identities being accepted,” says Ramadan, who informed us that same-sex marriage was accepted and normalized in the 1800s and welcomed as part of the structure of their communities. “Only over the past hundred years or so has the community become more and more socially and legally…

By Anna Black The BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival is bringing a little bit of Scotland right to the heart of Coquitlam with a day full of food and festivities (including a whisky school!) planned at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC on Saturday, June 16th, 2018. The Games continue a tradition started in the Scottish “old country” that was a customary part of life in the highlands. Historically, the core of the games included tossing the caber, putting the stone, throwing the hammer, bagpipe competitions, and Highland dancing. Competitions were held to determine who could best represent various Scottish clans or work for the chief or chieftain. As the economy changed in Scotland, the tradition was brought by Scottish settlers to the Vancouver area where it has continued for over one hundred and fifty years. Although the competitive nature of the games still very much has a presence,…

By Kristi Alexandra & Mary Ann Bell With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between. This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 25 to June 5. Once again this year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between three breweries found along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway: North Vancouver’s Beere Brewing, Backcountry Brewing in Squamish and Whistler’s Coast Mountain Brewing. In keeping with craft beer trends, this year’s VCBW…

By Catherine Dunwoody If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for for May 19th, 2018! Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically. The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival returns for it’s second year for a celebration of craft beer, local food and old-fashioned fun. The festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post Brewing Company and local is the name of the game. So local in fact, that of the 24 breweries participating, the farthest is Mission’s Mission Springs Brewery at 34 km (21 m) and the food is grown and produced in the Fraser Valley. Proceeds will, once again,…

By Alexis Baran I dare you to put a jellyfish in your mouth. Double dare! The Blue Water Café makes it easy to brag about your culinary audacity this February with the Unsung Heroes Festival. The “heroes” of the festival are the locally plentiful, sustainable, yet overlooked and delicious seafood that North American menus have often forgotten. Barnacles for example (yes, those sharp little guys who dig into your bare feet on the beach) actually come in many varieties. Gooseneck barnacles, sourced from Clayoquot sound, have a soft stalk that Executive Chef Frank Pabst has featured in previous years. This year the oddball star of the show is red sea cucumber, a soft creature who lives on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean down to 250 m (820 ft). Try the red sea cucumber “hot dog style” with Asian pear and sweet pepper relish and uni miso mustard on a…

By Winnie Tam Is there ever a combination better than food and wine? I think not. On November 4 -5, you can sample local and international foods and more than 200 wines from around the world all under one roof at the inaugural TriCity International Food & Wine Festival. Taking place at the beautiful Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club in Coquitlam, the festival features two tasting rooms – an Italian-themed room that will have wines from 15 Italian wineries plus an array of Italian food such as bruschetta, cheeses and cannoli; and an international tasting room with wines offered by 50+ wineries from over 10 countries including Argentina, France and Chile, and yummy nibbles like tuna poke, beef sliders and sweet and savoury breads. Guests can walk through the two tasting rooms and sample to their hearts’ content. The festival’s all-inclusive entry fee means that there are no painful…

By Catherine Dunwoody Back for its third year, New Westminster, BC is once again hosting its culinary showcase Feast on the Fraser taking place September 22 to October 1, 2017. Ten days of delicious tastings, cocktail parties, food tours and long table dinners are yours for the taking, but make special note in your calendars for these themed parties: Mad Men Mixer at Mid-Century Modern Home Store, a Speakeasy Prohibition Gala at 100 Braid Street Studios, a Beauty and the Beast children’s tea party and a Canada 150-themed dinner cruise on a paddleboat on the Fraser River. The entire festival champions local restaurants and local ingredients from the Fraser Valley, withTej Kainth, executive director of Tourism New Westminster, summing it up well: “It’s creating these cool collaborations between chefs and producers and the unique spaces we have in New West. Our events are smaller and more intimate, to give visitors…

By Catherine Dunwoody  It was only a matter of time until The Heights in Burnaby claimed their very own neighbourhood dining showcase. The festival takes place smack in the middle of summer, August 16-30, 2017 for two weeks of daily deals and special features, entertainment and more. Every day each restaurant and eatery has a different special; some are offering new menu items created just for Crave, while others are doing special happy hour features or after-dinner desserts. The Heights will come to life with live music and street buskers along their section of Hastings Street, opting for an urban, summer atmosphere you just can’t recreate any other season. “The Heights is a special place, rich in multiculturalism,” remarked Isabel Kolic, executive director of the Heights Merchants Association, “Crave is a perfect way to not only experience this strong sense of culture, but also to discover the variety of amazing…

By Anna Black If you’re looking for something fun and different to do in historic Downtown New Westminster, then be sure to check out Fridays on Front, a free family-friendly event. A brand new weekly community experience that launched July 7th, 2017, Fridays on Front runs every Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm until August 27th along Front Street in New Westminster. The event takes place in the 600-block of Front Street, which has recently been transformed into a modern, pedestrian friendly walkway that still retains a sense of industrial character. The fully licensed event offers visitors artisan, farm, meat, baked goods, and dairy vendors from New West Farmers Market and New West Craft, live music from the New Westminster Arts Council, and food trucks from the fifth annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest (happening July 29th from 4 pm – 10 pm). This includes Vancouver’s first bar truck,…

By Jaclyn Jularbal Wednesday, June 21st marks the 21st Annual Celebration of National Aboriginal Day. Each year, thousands of people head to Vancouver’s Trout Lake Park for a fun-filled day of both traditional and contemporary Indigenous activities, entertainment, and food.  And what would a community gathering be without a mouth-watering, stomach-filling feast? With food trucks, caterers, and bannock makers on site – come hungry and get ready to journey into the tastiest National Aboriginal Day festival of all time. Great gatherings start with great food, and this year the PR Bannock Factory will join the festivities as the featured caterers serving a community favourite: Chef Paul Natrall’s bannock tacos. For the first time ever, the National Aboriginal Day at Trout Lake site map includes a food truck village open all day from 12pm to 10pm. Park visitors can enjoy plenty of street eats both savory and sweet, full of pizza,…

By Anna Black The BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival is bringing a little bit of Scotland right to the heart of Coquitlam with a day full of food and festivities (including a whisky school!) planned at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC on Saturday, June 17th, 2017. The Games continue a tradition started in the Scottish “old country” that was a customary part of life in the highlands. Historically, the core of the games included tossing the caber, putting the stone, throwing the hammer, bagpipe competitions, and Highland dancing. Competitions were held to determine who could best represent various Scottish clans or work for the chief or chieftain. As the economy changed in Scotland, the tradition was brought by Scottish settlers to the Vancouver area where it has continued for over one hundred and fifty years. Although the competitive nature of the games still very much has a presence,…

By Kristi Alexandra With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between. This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the eighth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 26 to June 4. “We keep growing and changing every year because we want to create this beer experience that all of us want to experience ourselves,” says co-founder and events director Leah Heneghan. This year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between the four breweries that dot Port…

By Catherine Dunwoody If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for May 20tt, 2017! Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically. The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post  Brewing Company, and the aptly put slogan, “tap into the local” says it all. This first-time festival will feature fabulous local food and craft beer from the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley, plus live music and more. At the Fort Langley National Historic Site, fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold…

By Catherine Dunwoody This year’s Dining Out For Life fundraiser takes place on Thursday, March 30, and restaurants participating go well beyond Vancouver. The annual event is now in its 23rd year raising funds to support local men, women and kids affected by HIV/AIDS. Restaurants across the Lower Mainland that are involved will donate 25% of their food sales to the cause. That means when you enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the partners, you’re doing a good thing. Restaurants like The Old Bavaria Haus in New Westminster, Burgoo on Vancouver’s North Shore and Bravo in the Fraser Valley are part of the list of eateries who will continue to raise funds. Over the past 23 years, Dining Out For Life has raised over $3 million, with proceeds directly benefiting the programs and services provided free-of-charge by registered not-for-profit A Loving Spoonful. If you’re not familiar with A…

by Catherine Dunwoody Here’s fun Dine Out Vancouver idea: Book brunch or lunch at one of the participating restaurants and stay the night before at a nearby Vancouver hotel. Remember the festival ends February 5th so make your reservations now! Brunch Crawl – East Village January 28, by Vancouver Foodster, this event starts at 10am and during the course of four hours, you’ll visit several restaurants in Vancouver’s East Village neighbourhood (Hastings/Sunrise to Grandview/Woodland) sampling everything from smoothies to brunch pizza. Book online. Hotel pairing: Waldorf Hotel at 1489 E Hastings Street is also your meeting place for the crawl. Roll out of bed, into the lobby and boom – brunch tour begins. Explore BC Wine Brunch at Boulevard On Saturday, February 4 at 11 a.m., brunch-lovers can taste some of BC’s best wines paired with Executive Chef and 2015 BC Gold Medal Plates Champion Alex Chen’s delicious fare. The…

By Kristi Alexandra It’s one of New Westminster’s most iconic landmarks — the catch is it isn’t always on land. Returning gourmands will be all aboard the Paddlewheeler, the 100-passenger, authentic replica of a sternwheeler that would have worked the mighty Fraser in British Columbia in the mid-19th century and beyond. Part-epicurean and part-history, the dinner cruise, held October 1st, 2016, is a highlight for the second-annual Feast on the Fraser event put on by Tourism New Westminster. Kicking off on Sept. 23, the 10-day Feast on the Fraser festival features locally-inspired menus from participating Royal City restaurants — not the least of which includes the back-by-popular-demand dinner cruise. “While New Westminster is already well known as a food destination in the Lower Mainland, this is a great way to showcase the city’s diverse restaurants – and flavours of the Fraser Valley – in a tasty and creative way,” says…

By Ashley Lockyer Take a gourmet stroll off the beaten path, spend the afternoon with top chefs, and leave filled with stories of food and the people that bring it to life. Local culinary celebrations don’t get bigger than the annual Feast of Fields festival, held this year at Laurica Farm and Fraser Common Farm in Langley. Once you wander through the gates (and past some goats and pigs), British Columbia’s food and beverage artisans await to offer a complete taste of the region. Guests meander between tents and sample dishes that highlight local produce, prepared by more than 50 restaurants, farmers, and beverage crafters. Live music, orchards, and the open sky provide ambiance. Whether you’re into craft beers, ciders, or wines, or are looking for a chance to experience the province’s culinary creativity this “wandering gourmet harvest festival” includes items you won’t find on restaurant menus. And, it’s not…

By Catherine Dunwoody Say oui! Western Canada’s largest francophone festival for 27 years is back for another fun weekend of all things French Canadian – right in Coquitlam, BC. From March 4 to 6, 2016, the Festival du Bois showcases our fabulous and proudly French traditions and culture in Canada by way of the real deal when it comes to food, traditional music, entertainment and fun activities. Taking place in Coquitlam’s Mackin Park the fest is definitely family-friendly and very affordable. Kick off the festival at Dîner en Plaid, with its traditional French Canadian cuisine, and rollicking music from a New Brunswick band. Plaid dress code in effect? Absolument! Be sure and sip a pint of the signature craft beer, French Lumberjack Ale, from Port Moody’s Yellow Dog Brewing – especially while you cheer on participants in the arm wrestling competition and saw contests. Salut! Festival du Bois is known for…